## Give yourself more freedom to create instead of to search for information

The world has already been pervaded by infinite amount of information and knowledge. Like fast food, you don't need to digest them, you simply have them and they meet your biological need without further psychological or aesthetic sensations. Living in such a world, whenever we want to do something, we follow such routes: open search engine to exploit ==> collect information ==> read ==> categorize and archive ==> utilize the information on an elementary level ==> feel safe to forget the information because we're sure it locates somewhere on the network or hard disk. However, the whole procedure requires no real intelligence from us, what you need to do is just like digging for gold buried underground, i.e. they  have already been there. Therefore, we sometimes have such a feeling that the more we search for the answers, the less we think, the less we try to remember and the less utilize the abilities gifted by God, such as imagination, judgment, logics, etc.

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## Dropbox installed on Linux

First, download the Dropbox pakcage at https://www.dropbox.com/install?os=lnx

After installation, a notification will be displayed to let you restart Nautilus and by following the dialog, Dropbox daemon will be automatically downloaded. However, because my computer connects to the Internet via corporate proxy, appropriate proxy settings should be provided and this is configured in the environment variable https_proxy. After export this environment variable in the command line terminal, Dropbox configuration dialog needs to be restarted again in order to see the new proxy, which can be done like this:

dropbox start -i

Dropbox is able to use both http proxy and SOCKS5 proxy after installation, although during configuration, it seemed only http proxy worked normally).

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## [转载] 只收藏不阅读？拒做资料囤积狂！

Comments in green and emphasis highlighted in yellow.

1、资料取舍

2、阅读的目的性

3、读文献

4、坚持

Slow down your pace, 坚持做事，坚持实践。

/佚名

Posted in Research methods, Time management | Leave a comment

## Procrastination and perfectionism during making slides

Making slides for presentation is a "good" way to fall into the trap of procrastination and perfectionism.I had an experience  that one day I was asked to prepare a half an hour ppt introducing my previous research projects for the next day's meeting. I was also told that in order for me to make good preparations, I could start working on this ppt after lunch by putting aside other tasks. Then, with eagerness, confidence and desire for perfection, I began to search information, graphics from the Internet, re-typeset all the math equations with $\LaTeX$, process some of the figures to make them more beautiful, reorganize the logics and relations between different sections, etc. To my surprise, until 3 o'clock before dawn, I hadn't finished all the slides. After the presentation given on the next day, I reconsidered about the reason for such an almost crazy, time-consuming procedure of writing ppt. I found out because there are infinitely huge quantity of information and resources on the Internet, it will  take you infinite quantity of time in order to find the best news, the most suitable words, the most beautiful and elegant figures when you are driven by the impetus of pursuing perfectionism. I realized if I was told on that day that I could only start making the ppt in the evening after work, I would also finish that ppt on time.

So here are the questions to be clarified and their answers can treated as a guidance for the future: how much quality should we have for a task? To what extent should we delve into the details in order to optimize or improve our work? I think two principles can be followed:

1. Be clear about your target, and stick to this target.
2. Don't over-optimize your work.

The first principle in the above just defines the scope and contents of the task, so it helps us find our what our focus shall be. When all the targets are completed, we must stop there, that's it. Although we may be allured by the superficial satisfaction of doing more detailed and trifling work, these contribute nothing to the efficiency and results.

The second principle is also mentioned in some programming book, in which a similar concept of "too early optimization is the origin of all evils" is introduced. We have to bear in mind that every brilliant work is not completed in a single round, just like Rome is not built in one day. On the contrary, the magnificence and eminence root in repeated refinement and optimization. Again, take making ppt as the example, with limited time resource, a presentation can never be in a perfection condition although we may have such a desire which has only negative effect such as reluctance or fear to start, too much delay, etc. It is obvious to see that all our original "positive" impetus are finally turned into negative effects which reduce our efficiency and the quality of our work. Therefore, we should not pursue the extreme quality anymore. When the work is good enough, it's enough! Just stop there, leave the optimization to the future if there is necessity. Then, take a breathe and divert our focus to more significant work and creative ideas.

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## Using network behind a corporate proxy

Usually, a corporate proxy cannot be directly connected by applications such as a browser, apt-get and any local applications which need to access the internet. Even using something like "http://username:password@proxy.url:port_no" as the proxy address still does not work. This is because the corporate proxy has been configured in  domain authentication mode. The right solution is to setup a local CNTLM server, which is an intermediate between the server proxy and local applications. Then, everything will work properly including Cygwin update, apt-get package management, LibreOffice update, lftp, etc.

For CNTLM server configuration, one thing to be mentioned here is the password for visiting the corporate proxy had better be encrypted and this encrypted password should be generated like this:

cntlm.exe -c cntlm.ini -H

After starting CNTLM server, proxy configurations in Firefox browser and LibreOffice are quite direct and easy. For apt-get, the following lines should be added to /etc/apt/apt.conf (if this file does not exist, create it):

Acquire::http::Proxy "http://127.0.0.1:8080";
Acquire::https::Proxy “https://127.0.0.1:8080”;
Acquire::ftp::Proxy “ftp://127.0.0.1:8080”;
Acquire::socks::Proxy “socks://127.0.0.1:8010”;

If we want to use ssh, it can be started with SOCKS:

ssh -D 127.0.0.1:8010 usename@remote.host.name

When it comes to lftp, although the environment variable http_proxy, ftp_proxy, https_proxy, socks_proxy have all been configured in order to let the program to use the proxy provided by CNTLM, lftp still cannot access the network. According to lftp manual, we know that using hftp prefix instead of ftp in the url solves the problem:

lftp  can  handle several file access methods - ftp, ftps, http, https, hftp, fish, sftp and file (https and ftps are only available when lftp is compiled with GNU TLS or  OpenSSL library). You can specify the method to use in open URL' command, e.g. open http://www.us.kernel.org/pub/linux'. hftp is ftp-over-http-proxy protocol. It can   be   used   automatically   instead   of   ftp   if   ftp:proxy   is  set  to http://proxy[:port]'. Fish is a protocol working over an ssh connection to a  unix account. SFtp is a protocol implemented in ssh2 as sftp subsystem.

Then, try the following, we can see it works:

$lftp hftp://ftp.sam.math.ethz.ch lftp ftp.sam.math.ethz.ch:~> ls -rw-r--r-- -- /EMIS -rw-r--r-- -- /google68f1cd7c23efb6fe.html drwxr-xr-x -- /hg drwxr-xr-x -- /ifor -rw-r--r-- -- /incoming -rw-r--r-- -- /index.html -rw-r--r-- -- /pub -rw-r--r-- -- /risklab -rw-r--r-- -- /scsc drwxr-xr-x -- /sfs -rw-r--r-- -- /users Posted in Linux | Leave a comment ## Abnormally large system font in Gnome This is due to the inappropriate dpi value of the monitor. First, display some required information of the monitor: $ xdpyinfo | grep resolution
resolution: 96x96 dots per inch
\$ xdpyinfo | grep dimensions
dimensions: 3600x1080 pixels (953x286 millimeters)

Then, the best dpi value should be calculated as:

number_of_vertical_pixels / (height_in_cm / 2.54) = 95.9`

Although the resolution value 96 obtained from xdpyinfo command is correct, this dpi value should still be explicitly configure in Gnome “Appearance preferences => Fonts => Details => Resolution”:

Gnome font rendering settings

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